Friday, September 19, 2014
TERROR TUNNELS: THE CASE FOR ISRAEL'S JUST WAR AGAINST HAMAS
by Alan M. Dershowitz
September 12, 2014
Hamas quickly produces photographs of dead babies to be shown around the world, while at the same time preventing the media from showing its rocket launchers in densely populated areas.
Unless Hamas's "dead baby strategy" is denounced and stopped -- by the international community, the media, the academy and all good people -- it will be coming soon "to a theater near you".
If Hamas's dead baby strategy works, why not repeat it every few years? And why shouldn't other terrorist groups, like ISIS and Boko Haram, adapt this strategy to their nefarious goals as Hezbollah has already done?
On June 13, 2014, the commander of the Gaza Division of the Israel Defense Forces took me into a Hamas tunnel that had recently been discovered by a Bedouin tracker who serves in the IDF. The tunnel was a concrete bunker that extended several miles from its entrance in the Gaza Strip to its exit near an Israeli kibbutz kindergarten.
The tunnel had one purpose: to allow Hamas death squads to kill and kidnap Israelis.
The commander told me that Israeli intelligence had identified more than two dozen additional tunnel entrances in the Gaza Strip. They had been identified by the large amounts of earth being removed to dig them. Although Israeli intelligence knew where these entrances were, they could not order an attack from the air, because they were built into civilian structures such as mosques, schools, hospitals, and private homes. Nor could Israel identify their underground routes from Gaza into Israel, or their intended exit points in Israel. Israeli scientists and military experts had spent millions of dollars in an effort to develop technologies that could find the underground routes and intended exits for tunnels that were as deep as a hundred feet beneath the earth, but they had not succeeded in finding a complete solution to this problem. The planned exits from these tunnels in Israel were also a Hamas secret, hidden deep in the ground and incapable of being discovered by Israel until the Hamas fighters emerged. At that point it would be too late to prevent the death squads from doing their damage.
I was taken into the tunnel and saw the technological innovations: tracks on which small trains could transport kidnapped Israelis back to Gaza; telephone and electrical lines; crevices beneath schools and other civilian targets that could hold explosives; and smaller offshoot tunnels leading from the main tube to numerous exit points from which fighters could simultaneously emerge from different places.
My goal is to show that Israel's military actions in defense of its citizens have been just, and that they have been conducted in a just manner. They are no less just than the military actions being conducted by the United States and its allies against ISIS, al-Qaeda, and other terrorist groups. And they have been carried out at least as justly, with a lower percentage of civilian-to-combatant casualties.
Yet Israel has been unjustly condemned from too many corners, thus encouraging Hamas to continue its despicable and unlawful dead baby strategy. For the sake of justice and peace, the world must stop applying a double standard to the nation-state of the Jewish people.
 Different acronyms have been used to refer to the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria, or ISIS, including the Islamic State of Iraq and the Levant [ISIL] and simply the Islamic State [IS].
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